Wow, this post gets pretty numbers-specific, doesn't it? And yes, I owned a comic book shop. Some people don't know this.
The bottom line is that you don't want to be arguing comic stuff with me--I can take you. :)
August 28th, 1999
I own a comic shop, but it just pays the bills and doesn't let me store up any money. I begin putting things up on eBay pretty frequently. Anything that doesn't sell at the store, or anything I have doubles of.
And lo and behold, people are buying. People are frequently paying retail or more for my stuff. It's great. Checks and money orders start rolling in and I begin another bank account under my production company, Marauder Productions.
Meanwhile, I'm still looking for a cameraman. I stumble upon someone named David Gil from Arizona. He sounds gung-ho, very much into movies, and constantly busy. The kind of guy I'll need. He wants $2800 for the 3 weeks, which is by far the best rate I've gotten for a D.P. with his own camera. I ask for his reel and he sends it. I watch it closely and he's got good composition and is pretty steady.
I tell him about Hunting Humans. He's interested. He offers to do the entire shoot for nothing if I pay to get him here and his expenses while he's in town. It's too good to be true. Given that I was screwed on one D.P. already, I'm a little leery. I think he's psyched to be the D.P. of a feature film, and being Hispanic, is excited that the lead character is also Hispanic.
I do some calculations. I want to have at least 5 hours of footage for my 90 minute movie. That's a tiny shooting ratio, but if you're well-prepared, it's not unheard of.
400 feet of 16mm is about 11.5 minutes at 24 frames per second, which is regular speed. If you starting shooting slow-mo, one reel will shoot even less. So I need about 23 reels of 400 foot film, which will equal 23X11.5, which is 264.5 minutes.
The film stock I was looking at was Kodak Vision 500T(a fast stock, meaning we don't need to add a ton of light), and it cost $132.52 per 400 foot core. A quick multiplication ($132.52X23) means I need $3047.96 for film alone. Note that this does not cover development of the film or transfer of the film to video for editing.
Some other things I needed to consider: Insurance(which you will not get a permit without), food/catering(which you won't get happy actors who work for free without), the D.P.s plane ticket and his hotel stay.
I roughed it out and decided to skip the insurance. I only had 2 scenes that took place on public property, and I figured I could B.S. my way through for those. It looked like I needed about $9,000 to get the movie in the can. Workable, since I have a credit card with a $2,000 limit.
My eBay goal became $7,000.